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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 04 MARCH 2020 46 30
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 4th March, 2020.
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
VISITOR IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY
THE HON. SPEAKER: Allow me Hon. Members to recognise
the presence of Reverend Father Kembo, who is Parliamentary Liaison
Officer on behalf of the Catholic Bishops Conference. Welcome Father.
– [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have received apologies from the following Hon. Ministers; Vice Presidents, Hon. Chiwenga and Mohadi, Hon. Muchinguri –Minister of Defence and War Veterans, Hon. Matuke,
Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Hon. J.
Moyo, Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Hon. Shiri- Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement, Hon. Dr. Gumbo, Minister for State in the President’s Office, Hon. Mathema, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. S. Nyoni, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Hon. S. B. Moyo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Matiza, Minister of
Transport and Infrastructural Development, Hon. Matemadanda, Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans, Hon. E. Moyo, Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Marapira – Deputy Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement and Hon. Chitando - Minister of Mines and Mining Development.
NON-ADVERSE REPORT FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to announce that I have received a Non-Adverse Report on the Forest Amendment Bill [H. B. 19, 2019] from the Parliamentary Legal Committee.
HON. KASHAMBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise on a point of privilege and my point is for the past three weeks, Hon.
Speaker, Parliamentarians and the public at large have been collecting coupons for diesel but there is no product at the service stations. We want to know, is there any arrangement so that Parliamentarians will be able to do their work as mandated by the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, that question was raised by Hon.
Sacco last week – [HON. MEMBERS: It is different.] - Order, order! Can I indulge the Hon. Member; it looks like it is something different.
HON. KASHAMBE: We are saying for the past three weeks we have been getting coupons but there is no product. Our coupons are specifically for Puma alone and there has been no fuel for the past three weeks from Puma service stations and Puma is still selling those coupons to the public even right now, but there is no product for the public at large. So we would like to know for us Parliamentarians to execute our duties better.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I still believe that the question is really an extension of what was asked last week and it has to be directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development to explain. That is one aspect. The other aspect is to see how we can rationalise the Puma coupons and perhaps engage CMED so that you can try to get your fuel just across here. Thank you.
HON. K. PARADZA: On a point of order.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You raise a point of order when there is a debate.
HON. K. PARADZA: Sorry, point of privilege.
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, order, order. We need to be procedural. You have your Deputy Chief Whip here and I had said I have got a list, so I need to follow the list first and then if you are an excess questioner I can call upon you.
HON. TUNGAMIRAI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise on a point of privilege. The tobacco marketing season is fast approaching but we have no clear road map on how farmers will be paid in terms of retention in United States dollars – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! It is a question. Ask your question.
HON. MUNETSI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My point of privilege has been said by the first Member. Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you for your indulgence.
HON. K. PARADZA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. In terms of our dress code, I see do you now allow Mandela shirts in here because the way Hon. Murayi is dressed is not proper. He is sitting there. Can you stand up? Is that dressing? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE HON. SPEAKER: Sit down – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Order! – [HON. MEMBERS: That is a colonial mind.]- Hon. Molokela order! Can we have order Chief Whip?
Hon. Molokela, this is the second time I am asking you to hold fire.
I was saying I want to interpret Article 76(5) of the Standing Orders as guided by the Deputy Chair of Committees, Hon. Mutomba. the attire for male Members shall include the following:
- A suit, - [AN HON. MEMBER: There is no tie…] - Aaaah, I am going to kick you out of the House now.
- A jacket and a tie
- Safari suit. That is all – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
interjections.] – Order, order. Hon. Murai’s attire is on a knife edge. It is not like what Hon. Biti normally wears. I advised him to put on a tie because he would look elegant but he went out and took off the tie. Because it is on the knife edge, I rule that the Hon. Member should retain his tie and come back – [AN HON. MEMBER: Ko jacket?] – and a jacket of course – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
HON. T. MLISWA: I would like to bring to the attention of this House on a disease which is called theileriosis or January disease. The matter was asked before. This disease has killed a lot of cattle. The reason why I am bringing this up is, I think we need to declare a national disaster on the number of cattle that have died. I say so because the entire national herd….
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, in terms of privileges, it must relate to privileges of members. You can ask a question to the relevant Minister.
HON. T. MLISWA: The reason why I am saying this Mr.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have ruled. Thank you.
HON. TUNGAMIRAI: My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate Change and Rural Resettlement but since he is not around, I will direct my question to the Leader of the House.
What is the Government’s policy on how it is going to re-distribute land …..
Hon. N. Ndlovu having been moving around and greeting Hon.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order. Hon. Member, this is the second time that you are on a greeting spree – [Laughter.] – [AN HON.
MEMBER: She is a Chief Whip.] - Oh you are a Chief Whip. – [AN HON. MEMBER: Deputy] – Alright, my apology – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Thank you Deputy Chief Whip.
HON. TUNGAMIRAI: What is the Government’s policy on how
it is going to re-distribute the land acquired from the downsizing programme? – [HON. MEMBERS: Taurisa.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you repeat your question?
HON. TUNGAMIRAI: What is the Government’s policy on how
it is going to re-distribute the land acquired from the downsizing programme?
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order. In terms of Section 107, we have a situation which we are constantly talking about and there is no movement whatsoever. This is the agricultural season. The President has appointed three Ministers in charge of agriculture; one Minister and two Deputy Ministers and they are not here. Most of the questions which will be asked here relate to specific ministries. There is no way the Leader of Government business can be so intelligent to annunciate whatever is going on in these ministries. I say so because the country is facing a lot of challenges; the Minister of Energy is not here, the
Minister of Mines is never here, Hon. July Moyo who is the defacto Prime-Minister is not here yet we have got stadium issues in this country and he is responsible for that but he is not here to respond to these issues.
How honestly can we go back and make progress in this country when the very same appointed Cabinet Ministers are not here. Not only that, some of them are probably the worst bunch of Cabinet Ministers ever appointed since 1980. We always had respect of Ministers who would respect this institution. They do not respect your Chair Mr.
Speaker and it cannot continue like this and allow tax payers’ money to go to waste when we should be going back to the constituencies to tell the people what the Ministers are saying yet they are not here to respond to any of the issues when every portfolio in Government is facing challenges. This cannot continue. The Deputy Ministers and Ministers are not here. Why can they not respect this institution which is responsible for oversight? They do not account. They are busy disbursing money like Hon. July Moyo.
How do we come about with a solution that we tainted the
Zimbabwe that we have? It cannot continue – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. The Hon. Deputy Minister of Lands did not tender his apology. Hon. Leader of Government Business, there is no excuse for them not to be here. You can attempt to answer.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): The reason why
we are downsizing is to ensure that the majority of Zimbabweans who want agricultural land get it. The land will be given to those on the waiting list who have applied and we will also reserve some for some of the investment that we want to undertake.
HON. TUNGAMIRAI: What percentage of this land does the Ministry intend to distribute to youth since they were young when the land was taken? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Switch off your microphone. Order! When you go to statistics, you must bring that question in writing because it needs research.
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, the Government embarked on a land audit and they were going to audit the land first. Look at who is utilising or not utilising and for what reasons and also check on multiple farm owners. It is on record that the former First Lady has more than 12 farms and this Government has done absolutely nothing when the policy on land is one man, one farm.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your supplementary Hon.
HON. T. MLISWA: The question is what have they done about the land and why are they not repossessing the farms from the former First Lady when it is supposed to be one man, one farm against the Government policy? – [HON. SIKHALA: That is not policy!] - It is a policy question! – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – [HON. SIKHALA: Do not be abusive to widows! My sister here is a widow and I defended her when she lost her husband.] -
Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga having stood up to respond to Hon.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Misihairabwi-
Mushonga, please allow the Hon. Minister to respond. – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Mr. Speaker, I have
just been abused. I am a widow and I do not know why or how I am getting into this conversation and I think it is just abusive. He should withdraw the statement Mr. Speaker.
HON. SIKHALA: Mr. Speaker Sir, if my statement that I defend widows has insulted anyone including my sister Hon. MisihairabwiMushonga. I withdraw.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr.
Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question which is very important, I must admit.
Government indeed embarked on a land audit and our President is very clear that our policy is one-man, one-farm or one-woman, onefarm. I happen to be the Vice Chairman of the Lands Committee in Mashonaland West and the Chairperson is here and will testify that we are repossessing farms from multiple farm owners. I thank you.
*HON. CHIKOMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, my question
is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development. The Hon.
Minister is not here, so I will direct my question to the Leader of the
For the past months, we did not have any electricity. So I want to know what plans the Government has for the past nine months or there is nothing because the Minister of Energy and Power Development does not have electricity and is not here as well. – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] –
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
I want to thank the Hon. Member for his question in connection with shortage of electricity in Zimbabwe. He wants to know what the Ministry of Energy and Power Development is doing in terms of
Yes, our electricity supply is low and we always talk about it. A number of reasons caused that but as a Ministry of Energy and Power Development, for the country to have the little electricity that we have, it is because we are buying electricity outside the country from South Africa through Eskom, from Mozambique in Carbora Bassa and EDM – that is where we are buying our electricity from. As you are aware that the whole southern African region is affected by this shortage of electricity, at times Eskom of South Africa also faces the challenges of low electricity which also affects us as Zimbabwe.
Coupled with that, we are encouraging citizens to embark on renewable solar energy. Companies who are able to generate solar energy, some companies like Pepsi, Econet had installed solar plants at their premises – we are encouraging companies who are able to generate their own energy from solar because we have a lot of sun in Zimbabwe – that is what we are encouraging. We have a Renewable Energy Policy as Government that is going to be launched very soon and we are encouraging the use of renewable energy.
As Government, again we have ongoing projects at Hwange Thermal Power Station, that is Units 7 and 8 Extension. It is being constructed right now and we believe that the first unit will be operational next year in 2021 and the other one in 2022. We will be getting 600MW in addition to the supply that we have and on top of that, we are also encouraging independent power producers who want to construct mini-hydro power stations in all our dams. We are encouraging that all the dams that can generate hydro power should be utilised and IPPs should engage in that. There are a lot of things that we are doing. We have a big list of what we are planning to do as a Government so that we increase electricity supply. Thank you.
*HON. CHIKOMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Firstly, I would like to thank the Deputy Minister for telling the truth that we do not have enough electricity in the country and we have always said that we do not have enough power in the country. Thank you Hon. Deputy Minister. The problem that I have observed is that she continues explaining plans that are going to be done. My question is that the power shortages that are currently obtaining in the country are as a result of the fact that we do not have people who have the right ideas and we do not have resources to alleviate the problem.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Member, you told your story but can you ask a proper question?
*HON. CHIKOMBO: The power shortages that you alluded to... *THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, address the Chair.
*HON. CHIKOMBO: I am saying that according to the explanation given by the Deputy Minister, is it because we do not have enough resources or we do not have the right ideas which would ensure that the country has enough power?
*HON. MUDYIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. We have enough natural resources. We are generating power, we have enough sun. We are working on generating power through renewable energy.
We are also working on renovating the Hwange Thermal Power Station.
We are expecting to get 600mw on completion at the Hwange 7 and 8 Extension project. We also have mini hydro projects taking place around the country. We encourage those who have resources, who have money to generate power for their use so that we can save energy in this country. A lot is happening in Zimbabwe. The list is endless, I cannot explain all the things that are happening. However, my point is that we are trying our best to make sure that we increase power generation. The
IPPs that I referred to, we encourage institutions like Government departments, clinics, hospitals and other entities to ensure that they have solar plants which will add to the national grid. I thank you.
HON. TOFFA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question to the Hon. Deputy Minister is, she spoke about encouraging people to invest in solar power or green energy. What is her Ministry doing to make sure that it is possible and there is ease of doing business with regards to acquiring or importing solar equipment or resources? Mr. Speaker Sir, currently there is duty on batteries, on cables and there are very high rates when you want to acquire a licence for a solar plant. How is the Ministry assisting or encouraging people, when there are such hurdles in the way? Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. MUDYIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question on what the Ministry is doing to encourage the processing and application of licences or whatever, as regards electricity issue. As a Ministry, we are launching the renewable energy policy very soon which spells out that in as much as we can, we are encouraging people to go the renewable energy way. We have incentives in place where we are saying some of the equipment for solar energy like solar plants batteries which are made by lithium are imported duty free. Those are some of the incentives that we have. Also on the licencing issue, we have the ZERA which processes the licences. Before, the licence processing would take more than six months to process but we are reducing the period to about a month. That is what we are trying to come up with. You will see a lot of developments as regards the processing of power licences. In the duty payments, I think I mentioned about the duty that we have advocated with the Ministry of Finance that some of the equipment that we need for solar plants is brought in duty free. I cannot specify which equipment exactly but I remember the lithium batteries which are specifically meant for solar energy. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
*HON. KARENYI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would like to pose my supplementary question to the Deputy Minister. I notice that there is price increase of 300 percent despite the fact that there is no electricity. What does it mean? How can you improve without providing service? As Government, you have effected that increment, however the nation does not have enough power, what does that mean to the nation?
*HON. MUDYIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The Hon.
Member asked a pertinent question regarding the increase of electricity.
You would notice that in the past year, the tariffs that were charged by ZESA were very low. In other cases, you will discover that the tariffs were so low compared to other countries in the region. ZESA had not effected any increment since 2011 until the past year (2019). There were no tariff increments because ZESA was not permitted to increase the tariffs. However, because of viability challenges, ZESA could not operate, could not pay for coal for Hwange Thermal Power Station and the company could not even pay its workers. We are importing electricity and ZESA did not have enough money to import electricity. In other words, ZESA was on its knees, so we decided to effect a tariff increment, which would ensure that operation costs are met so that all services that are provided by ZESA are given to the public.
Even after the tariff increments last year, the cost reflective tariffs were not enough to cater for the operational costs of ZESA to pay for all resources that were needed by ZESA. However, the increment that is being effected was done so that ZESA will be able to pay for electricity imparts; procure coal and to pay for all the services that it needs to provide electricity to the nation. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. CHIKWINYA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. You
would have noticed that the amount of interest to engage the Hon. Minister with regards to issues of energy is quite high. I therefore propose that the Hon. Minister of Energy may come to Parliament with a
Ministerial Statement explaining the holistic approach under which the Government is tackling the energy crisis, especially the issue of renewable energy. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Deputy Minister I hope you got the
request. You were requested to prepare a comprehensive Ministerial Statement to indicate the holistic approach to the energy crisis. So can we have that statement next week?
HON. MUDYIWA: We will do so Hon. Speaker.
HON. MADHUKU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is
directed to the Leader of the House in the absence of the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. I want to know the Government policy with regards to pension reviews as well as cost of living adjustments for pensioners to keep them abreast with their colleagues that are still at work.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr.
Speaker Sir. I recall this question was asked and we have ongoing negotiations within the tripartite negotiation forum where the negotiations are happening. So, it is a question that is under discussion and the Hon. Member will be advised when the negotiations are concluded.
*HON. P. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is
directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, and in his absence to the Leader of the House. My question is, we have the Beitbridge-Chirundu road, what is Government policy in terms of rehabilitation of the road before the rains come, because each and every year we find potholes on that road and it is impassable.
THE HON. SPEAKER: That question is a specific question.
HON. GOZHO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development. Minister, why is Government taking long to find a permanent solution to the fuel crisis?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVLOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker. The
Hon. Member asked a very pertinent question on fuel issues. The problem has gone on for some time now, appearing as if there is nothing being done. Like I said at one time, the fuel industry, we have got the Ministry of Energy which is responsible for ensuring that there is fuel in the country and that the fuel is available at the service stations for the motorists to get the fuel but we also have the Ministry of Finance as a stakeholder and a key player in the fuel industry. If you are talking about the Government, you are not asking about the Ministry per se but it is the Government that you are asking. So, I think the Ministry of
Finance will also answer – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – What we are doing is that as a Ministry we are ensuring that there is fuel in the country. I can assure you we have got plenty of fuel at our depots but some of the processes that are involved in having the fuel at the service stations are beyond the Ministry’s control. I think I cannot pre-empt what measures we are taking at the moment. This morning the Permanent Secretary was involved in several meetings- in the country there is a lot that has been going on in the fuel industry. Some underhand dealings that are going on and as a Ministry we are seized with all those matters, but unfortunately when I came to this parliamentary session, I had not met with the Permanent Secretary to discuss what has come out from those meetings today. It would be premature for me to say anything about those meetings. I think maybe by tomorrow we can have the answers after discussing with the Permanent Secretary what has come out with the Ministry, but the challenge that we are having is that as a country, we are not producing and we are not exporting to get the much needed forex to pay for the fuel. That is all I can say. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. May I suggest that Hon. Deputy Minister, when you make your Ministerial Statement next week, you include the issue of fuel supplies in consultation with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development as you have indicated. Thank you.
HON. SIKHALA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: After my ruling hazviiti. Wait for the
HON. NKANI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, we need to hear the question properly. Hon. Member can you repeat your question.
HON. NKANI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. What is the Government policy regarding the repair and rehabilitation of our major roads? I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, that question was asked two weeks ago.
HON. MAGO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minster of Local Government and Public Works. The country’s infrastructure is decayed, including sports infrastructure like stadia, halls and public buildings. In view of the CAF ban on our stadia why did Government allow this situation to get to boiling point?
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: No point of order. Allow the Minister to answer.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Thank you very much for the question you raised about the decay, as you say, of the National Sports Stadium. If you look back on the budgets that we have been submitting form previous years, you will notice that maintenance of stadiums has not been given priority. There has been fighting for the same financing and the financing that we have been given as a Ministry has not been enough for us to be able to maintain the stadiums. Also, for your own information most of the stadiums are maintained by the local authorities, although they fall under the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works. In addition to that, right now we have put in place a mechanism where we are maintaining the National Sports stadium and also hoping to maintain the Barbourfields Stadium. Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. I stood down the point of order from Hon. Mliswa. On explanation, I think Hon. Mliswa was correct. We ask for a Ministerial Statement and we are hoping that should come tomorrow.
HON. HAMAUSWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I am not accepting any point of order.
We wait for the Ministerial Statement.
HON. HAMAUSWA: It is not on that issue.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You cannot raise a point of order in the
HON. HAMAUSWA: It is related to the issue Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, no. Thank you.
HON. HAMAUSWA: Okay, a point of privilege – [Laughter]-
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. You cannot raise a point of privilege now.
HON. HAMAUSWA: At least hear my concern. My issue Mr.
Speaker Sir is that we have requested a Ministerial Statement on water…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Member.
HON. HAMAUSWA: Let me finish Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON.
MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, no. Please take your seat.
HON. HAMAUSWA: My suggestion was…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Take your seat! Sir – [HON. MEMBER:
Inaudible interjections.] –
HON. MASENDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Tobacco selling season is fast approaching. I would like to ask, what is Government policy on the payment of tobacco farmers in foreign currency and allowing a proportion of the payments to be accessed in foreign currency?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE,
WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON.
HARITATOS): Unfortunately, this question is rightly answered by the Ministry of Finance. It is not part of our mandate to decide what portion we paid in foreign currency and local currency – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] -
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): As of now, we do not have a
new policy with regards to the payments for tobacco but what is obtaining is the policy that we had in the previous tobacco season, that is where we are going to split the payment in foreign currency and in RTGs.
HON. CHINYANGANYA: My supplementary question is, is there any consideration on the exchange rate at which farmers will liquidate their nostro accounts when they sell their tobacco?
HON. CHIDUWA: What I would want to add which is not yet announced is that as of last week we had a meeting with tobacco farmers. What is left is for us to announce the new position with regards to how the proportion is going to be split between the foreign currency component and the RTGs.
With regards to the follow up question, if farmers want to liquidate their foreign currency component, they will make use of the interbank
HON. BITI: I have a supplementary to the learned Hon. Deputy Minister of Finance. Tobacco farmers incur inputs in US dollars. They sell their product at auction floors in US dollars. There is no legal basis or law that authorises the Reserve Bank to expropriate their foreign currency. We would like the Minister to assure farmers and this House that there will be no expropriations from tobacco farmers and that they will get their raw foreign currency after a sale at the tobacco auction floors –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. CHIDUWA: I am not sure if we can call it expropriation but I think for us as a Government, what is going to be followed is Government policy. The farmers are going to follow Government policy and that is it - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
*HON. BITI: Hon. Speaker, a policy should follow the law.
There is no law which allows the Government to take tobacco farmers’ money and converting it from US dollars to the local currency. We do not want a policy that violates the law. The law should be followed.
Whoever sells his tobacco using US dollars should be given US dollars.
That is all we ask Mr. Speaker Sir - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.
*HON. CHIDUWA: The money that was supposed to circulate is the local currency. We migrated from the multicurrency system and we adopted the use of local currency. What is legal is using our local currency. Any other currency is illegal - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.
*HON. HAMAUSWA: My supplementary question is, considering the regulations that were announced by the RBZ allowing those who sell fuel to sell in US dollars, that is not happening to those who sell tobacco. My observation is that there is policy incoherence within the Government especially looking at those who supply fuel and those who sell tobacco.
*HON. CHIDUWA: I do not see any conflict regarding Government policy. The issue to those who observe what is happening is – every month we use US$100 000 000 to import fuel. This means that throughout the year we use a minimum of US$1.300 billion on importing fuel. The fact that there is policy incoherence is not necessarily the truth. There is no conflict.
There are some people who have their US dollars and even farmers who also have US dollars can go and buy their fuel on designated service stations. So there is no conflict.
HON. MARKHAM: My supplementary is on exactly the same issue but going to the Zimbabwean dollar side.
What is Government policy in making money accessible to the farmers once it has been deposited in the bank account, particularly the small scale farmer who has no access to any banking facility to get their money in RTG even Ecocash because as soon as you use Ecocash, you would have lost 30% of the value on top of having it exchanged at the bank rate which makes the farmer totally unviable.
It is further complicated because he has got a small crop, he brings it into town and he has to sell it in order to find some cash to go home. What is Government policy to help those farmers access their own money?
HON. CHIDUWA: If I got the question right, he is saying there are some farmers who do not even have access to Ecocash or mobile money. Surely for us in terms of digitalisation, we said we want to embrace the use of digital money. So if there is any farmer without a mobile number, I am sure you can advise them to have a mobile number.
– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Deputy Minister, I
think try to endeavour to answer the question in a manner that can direct to some solution.
HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – The issue is, how are the small holder farmers going to be able to access their money?
We are saying, largely at the moment most of the transactions that are happening are happening via the use of mobile money and for the rural farmers - obviously in most rural areas, we do not have banks. So for the majority of rural farmers, they will make use of mobile money as
I said. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order let us not belabour the point. I am asking the Hon. Deputy Minister to look into the matter and see how those disadvantaged rural farmers out there can be assisted. I think that is the compromise, let us look for a solution accordingly.
Some Hon. Members having stood up to pose supplementary questions.
Order, order, I have closed the debate. You want a short one?
*HON. KARENYI: Thank you Mr. Speaker, my question that was not clearly answered by the Hon. Deputy Minister is that when Hon. Biti posed his question it was not clear. The question was, when tobacco is being sold it is being paid for in US$. So after it has been paid for in US$, why is it that we want to pay the person in ZWL$ and in USD$?
Since it is paid for in cash US$, why should the tobacco farmers not be paid in US$?
*HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. As I alluded
before, the policy as I am speaking is what happened last year but farmers and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had engaged each other and resolved that we should come up with a new policy. So we will let you know when we have agreed as to how we are going to do it. – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: No further supplementary questions. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – No, no! I think that it is now Hon. Munetsi and Hon. Chinyanganya who must come in now.
HON. MUNETSI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is
directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. In his absence, I do not know if I am allowed to redirect it to the Minister of
Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development – I know that he will be able to answer it.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your question Hon. Member?
HON. MUNETSI: My question is, in schools we used to have what was called per capita grants. Do we still have that policy because it used to help schools a lot.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, can you assist - you cannot.
THE MINISTER HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION,
INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Mr. Speaker, I do
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr.
Speaker but I did not quite understand the question. He did not specify what per capita grant he is referring to, if he can expand a little bit.
HON. MUNETSI: Thank you Hon. Speaker, I can explain what
per capita grant is. May I explain?
THE HON. SPEAKER: You may proceed.
HON. MUNETSI: Thank you. Per capita grant is money that
was allocated to a student at a school so that they can be assisted to buy text books, et cetera. Every student used to get an allocation from
Government; per school and per child. Do we still have that policy?
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker, our secondary schools are still supported by Government in terms of provision of text books. Hon. Members will recall that one of the largest budgets that we passed in this august House pertained to primary and secondary education. I thank you.
HON. CHINYANGANYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, my
question is directed to the Minister of Industry and Commerce. What measures are being taken by the Government to ensure that there is compliance with the Competition Act considering the fact that there are monopolies in the industries such as fuel, for example by Green Fuel and also in the food industry by Innscor and Simbisa Brands.
THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON.
- KANHUTU-NZENZA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I really want to thank the Hon. Member of Parliament for that very significant question. That question is being addressed by the board of the Competition and Tariffs Commission. We are currently in the process reviewing the decision making process within that board and this is one of the key issues that we are tasked with. We are taking this matter very seriously. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My
supplementary question relates to the genesis of the original question to the extent that why are we allowing monopolies and one of the examples given was in the fuel industry. I will direct my supplementary to level. Mr. Speaker, why does the Government force me to buy blended fuel in therefore promoting one particular monopoly? Thank you.
HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
The question was very specific and it requires – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. M. KHUMALO):
HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I will
answer the question in two levels. Firstly, it must be put in writing. Secondly, it is also a question that must be addressed by ZERA. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members.
HON. SIKHALA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. The question by Hon. Chikwinya was saying why are citizens of Zimbabwe or motorist being forced to compulsorily buy blended fuel? Why do we not have an option for those who want to buy blended fuel or not and that blended fuel is being supplied by one cartel. Why are we forced, all the citizens of Zimbabwe, to support one cartel – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order please. I agree
with the Minister that you have said why are citizens? It means it has happened to somebody – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Members, order please.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Let me clarify.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Sit down before you clarify – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order please. I am saying if you seek for a clarification, it is still okay but if you repeat the same question, you must put it in writing.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I will clarify
on two points. The first point is that it is not true that it is a specific question because it is Government policy that consumers and motorists consume blended fuel. It is Government policy and I am asking the rationale of that policy which relates to a monopoly as from the original question. The second issue is that it must be answered by ZERA.
Government acts in unison and precedence was set today. If the Minister cannot answer on behalf of ZERA, she can defer the question to the Minister of Energy. There are two issues, first it is not a specific issue, it is policy and secondly, if she cannot answer she will refer to the Minister of Energy who controls ZERA.
HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I
specifically said this is a question of ZERA that was referring the question to Energy and I will do it again. I will refer the question to Energy as I have done before – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members please.
Hon. Khumalo, order please.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
What I got from the question is that why is there monopoly in the blending of fuel and why are motorist being forced to use the blended fuel without an option to use unblended fuel. Let me answer the last question first. When we take up the decision to do the blending with ethanol, it was meant to increase on volumes. I think we are aware that we are having a serious shortage of fuel in the country. So, if we do not blend our fuel, that will demand so much on the forex that we need to buy the fuel. So, that is why we had a policy to do the blending.
Currently, we are blending at 5%, at some point we went to as far as 20%. We do not have enough fuel in the country, so there is no choice for motorists to choose on whether they want to use the blended fuel or the unblended.
On the question of monopoly – I do not think there is a monopoly there. We have Green Fuels; we also have ethanol from Triangle where we have sugarcane fields. If we got many players to do the sugarcane plantations, we welcome them to participate in the ethanol business. I thank you.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My
supplementary question is that does the Minister not think that there is a conflict on the policy? On one side; we are blending fuel to sell in foreign currency and to increase the fuel which is in short supplies – that is policy number 1. Policy number 2; we now have garages selling in USD, what is the point of using local content when we are selling everything in USD to the motorists who cannot choose whether there is pure fuel or 5%, 10%, 15% or 20% ethanol. So, is that not a conflict in policy with the Government?
The Hon. Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development having taken time to respond to the question.
*HON. MADZIMURE: On a point of order! The question asked by Hon. Markham is very clear - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
HON. T. MLISWA: The supplementary question that was asked by Hon. Markham to the Deputy Minister - it is now five minutes without the Minister answering. We are wasting time.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: There is a point of order by Hon. Madzimure.
*HON. MADZIMURE: My point of order is that the question that was asked by Hon. Markham that we are blending fuel and we are selling that blended fuel using forex – that question should be answered by the Hon. Deputy Minister as a policy question. I thank you.
HON. MUDYIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. If I got the question correctly, the Hon. Member is asking why people are made to pay in USD for the blended fuel. What I can say is that I am not aware that we have got a policy where we are selling fuel in USD – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
In Zimbabwe, fuel is sold in the local currency but we do have selected garages who sell to the guests of the State like diplomats and
NGO’s who buy in foreign currency. We do not have any other service stations that sell in forex. Whoever is selling the fuel in USD is going against the law because the law of Zimbabwe is that we sell our fuel in the local currency and not in the USD.
Even though there is that blending, there is still the foreign currency component where we import the fuel so the foreign currency is also needed to pay for the imported fuel – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order! May I suggest that because the Minister of Energy and Power Development was asked to make a statement - I hope those issues will be addressed by that statement. The Minister of Energy and power Development will have to address those concerns. Thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker, the first question arose as a result of the monopolies which are there. It was directed to the Minister of Trade and Industry. You then referred the one on energy to the Minister. May the Ministers listen because it is important?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa we have referred
that to the statements.
HON. T. MLISWA: It is a point of clarity which is important.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: On which one, the one I have
ruled upon? I think I have ruled that the statement will cover monopolies on energy. I think we are through. I do not have to entertain any other clarification.
HON. T. MLISWA: Does the Minister know what her statement must have because there were many issues which were asked. The issue on the ethanol monopoly is that Minister, there is Green Fuel which is given a monopoly to bring ethanol and you talked about Triangle. Triangle only comes in when Green Fuel has failed to supply. The question is why do you give monopolies to a company which has no capacity? I was the Chairman for the Energy Committee. We did this.
Triangle only comes in when Green Fuel fails to supply to the Government.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, can you address
all those when the Minister has given us the statement.
HON. T. MLISWA: No, but I am trying to get the Minister to understand where the monopoly is. The contract is with Green Fuel.
When Green Fuel fails to supply Government, then Triangle comes in. The question is why they give somebody monopoly when they have no capacity. This is where the issue is. Will the Minister be able to respond to that? Not only that, Green Fuel were supposed to comply with the 49/51 Indigenisation Act at the time. Why did they not comply?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, can you please
present that question when the statement has been presented.
HON. T. MLISWA: In the statement we want her to address the issue why monopoly is given to a company without capacity, Minister. Triangle only comes in when Green Fuel has failed. So why do you give them the monopoly? That is my question.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Member.
Can we proceed please? I think I have ruled on that one.
HON. A. MPOFU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement. May the Hon. Minister enlighten us on Government policy regarding the need to retrain and reorient our extension officers, especially so that they can effectively address issues of climate change and be able to harness opportunities offered by new technologies in agriculture. Thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE,
WATER AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITOTIS):
Thank you Hon. Speaker and thank you to the Hon. Member. Indeed Hon. Speaker it is critical. Technologies change daily and as a Ministry we have an ongoing programme to continuously retrain, re-educate and re-capacitate our extension officers on a month to month basis. In Shona we say kudzidza hakuperi and that is definitely the case when it comes to agriculture. Thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: My question is directed to the Deputy
Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement. Mr. Speaker Sir there is a disease called Theileriosis, commonly known as the January Disease. What is Government doing to ensure that there are vaccines available to treat this? A lot of cattle have died and it is more of a national disaster. A national disaster is not only when people die but the level and the amount of cattle that have died, it is only important that we declare it a national disaster, but Government must come in with interventions.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Go straight to the question
HON. T. MLISWA: So what has Government done in terms of providing the vaccines so that we eradicate this disease?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE,
WATER AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITOTIS):
Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir and thank you to the Hon. Member for the question. Indeed Hon. Member, we did have a major problem the last two years. Our major constraints have been foreign currency.
I would just like to correct the Hon. Member and inform you that the January Disease is treated not by vaccinations but by dipping chemicals. So we did have problems with both dipping chemicals and vaccinations with regards to the procurement over the last two years, but I am very happy to inform the Hon. Member that through our donor partners, out of the 60 districts that we have in our country, 28 districts have current dipping and vaccine systems in place for the next six months as a bare minimum.
We also have the other 32 districts which will be catered for by the Government. Unfortunately as I mentioned, we do not have unlimited budgets and certainly we are still constrained within the other 32 districts, but we are indeed receiving in bits and pieces some form of revenue and it is our hope that we catch up to indeed insure and guarantee that all 60 districts have dipping facilities in place.
In addition to that, Hon. Speaker, with regards to vaccinations of anthrax as well as the control of FMD, we were fortunate to receive US$1 million which was paid to the Botswana Institute of Vaccinations which allowed us the release of 800 000 doses for us to combat anthrax and it is my strong belief that we are on top of things with a few exceptions of course.
With regards to the vaccines and the treatment of FMB we are also relaxing which means that we have entered into a grey area now that our cattle are allowed to move on a case to case basis in certain provinces.
Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker thank you for that response from the Minister, but just yesterday I was with the heads of department for the Veterinary Services and they clearly said that there is $17million which is due to them in terms of coming up with vaccines. Not only that, the issue which is important is that most of the cattle and meat that we are eating right now is full of disease and it has repercussions on our health later on. What is Government doing to stop the selling of these cattle until the diseases are eradicated? That is the reason why you see people being sick because of what we are eating. There has got to be a situation where Government stops the selling of cattle until a point where the disease has been eradicated. What is Government doing to address this issue because disease are there; the meat is being eaten which has disease.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. M. KHUMALO): I
think he has heard your question.
HON. T. MLISWA: What are you doing to also remunerate the veterinary doctors who never go on strike but equally are doctors in terms of their salaries as well?
HON. HARITATOS: I would like to thank the Hon. Member for
the three questions that were supplemented there. Firstly, I would like to comment on the money that is owed to the veterinary department. What I believe the Hon. Member is asking is money owed by the public to the veterinary services. I stand to be corrected but I think that is the –[AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] - The money that is allocated to the Ministry is allocated through Ministry of Finance through our budgets. We do allocate money internally but money specifically comes from the Ministry of Finance with intended beneficiary. As a Ministry, we are making every effort to ensure that our Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) is in fact capacitated with the rightful amounts of funding that is required to fight and combat such a serious problem that we have in our country.
Secondly, with regards to cattle that have diseases, it is our hope that the public listened to the Hon. Member asking this question because the problem and the answer relies with the public. We say when you slaughter cattle, you should do it formally. The disease that the Hon. Member is referring to come from cattle that are slaughtered illegally and therefore it is important for the public to understand that there are serious health repercussion if they consume cattle that have disease. However, as long as the cattle go through a formal system, there is no way that those diseases will find a way to the public.
The last question with regards to remuneration of our Vets, unfortunately this falls within the domain of public service. We do not directly pay the veterinary services or our employees. These are paid by the Civil Service Commission. I do agree with the Hon. Member that definitely, these should be looked into and reviewed urgently.
HON. T. MLISWA: What guarantee do we have that the meat
which is being sold in the supermarkets has no disease? Can you give us a guarantee as a nation that the meat which we are buying in the supermarkets or butcheries has absolutely no disease?
HON. HARITATOS: As I mentioned, if these cattle are slaughtered formally, this is a multi-stakeholder approach. We have the
Department of the Veterinary Services at every slaughter. We have the Rural District Council at every slaughter. We have an association that promotes the cattle in Zimbabwe – forgive me I have forgotten the name of the association but they are all part of this. These provide checks and balances. As long as the cattle are formally slaughtered, it will stop any form of diseases being consumed but if there are any cattle slaughtered in the informal sector, certainly it is for us to police it to engage the ZRP to ensure that practice is minimized.
HON. S. BANDA: There was a question posed earlier concerning education per capita and we did not get a satisfactory response from the
Minister. Therefore we seek extension of time. The Minister of
Education is now in the House available to give us an accurate response.
HON. C. MOYO: I second. We did not get an accurate response.
Motion put and negatived.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE
TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER
PRESENTATION OF MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. M. KHUMALO):
Order, order Hon. Members. There are two Ministerial Statements that were requested by Hon. Members from two different Ministers. I now wish to give an opportunity to the two Ministers to present the
ISSUANCE OF COPPER EXPORT LICENCES
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL
HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. On
Tuesday, 26th September, Hon. Ndebele invited our office to make a Ministerial Statement on the logic of granting of copper exporting licences to registered entities in Zimbabwe that does not produce copper.
The Hon. Member alleged that the granting of copper exporting licences to particular entities promoted vandalism of some of ZESA’s infrastructure specifically for transformer oil and copper cables. Mr.
Speaker Sir, I have brought the Ministerial Statement.
I wish to start by thanking the Hon. Member for the question and agree with him that vandalism of critical infrastructure especially that of our public utilities has become a national problem.
Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to take this opportunity and inform the
Hon. Member that copper dealer’s licences are issued in accordance with the provisions of Section 4 of the Copper Control Act (Chapter 14:06) which is administered by my Ministry. The Act further regulates copper acquisition, disposal, record-keeping and copper possession. However, when it comes to the sale and export of all minerals, copper included, it is the prerogative of the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. The said Ministry is responsible for the issuance of export licences as provided by Section 43 of the Minerals Marketing Corporation of
Zimbabwe Act (Chapter 21:04). In this regard, my Ministry is charged with the duty of physically verifying the consignment by matching with the accompanying documents.
I would like to also acknowledge the fact that our copper mines are now dysfunctional. Nevertheless, it is critical to highlight that
Zimbabwe has other sources of copper which include obsolete industrial, domestic or household equipment. For this reason, copper dealers licences continue to be issued for the purposes of regulating players involved in this business. More importantly, the issuance of such licences is based on strict regard to legitimate sources of copper.
Mr. Speaker Sir, may I also state that my Ministry through the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s Criminal Investigation Department has a specialised section called the Minerals, Flora and Fauna Unit which deals with mineral related crimes. I am happy to mention that through such specialisation, the ZRP working with related stakeholders has been able to detect and arrest several organised criminal syndicates and individuals vandalising public infrastructure and stealing copper across the country.
Furthermore, a number of strategies aimed at curbing such illicit activities continue to be adopted. I wish to advise the Hon. Member that some of the strategies put in place include the setting of a multistakeholder taskforce comprising the ZRP, ZESA, TelOne and NRZ to look into the issuance of copper dealer’s licences as well as dealing in scrap metal.
In addition, we continue to appeal that deterrent sentences be passed to all criminals convicted for vandalism and theft of public utilities infrastructure. This will go a long way in sending a strong message to all such criminal elements not to vandalise or tamper with our public utilities infrastructure. I thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Minister ably defines the Copper Act, Section 4 under his Ministry and he equally talks about Section 33 of the Minerals Act in which the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is equally responsible. He equally says that their duty is to verify all this and also further admits that there is no copper mining in the country. Whilst there is no copper mining in the country, the only source of copper are some of the gadgets that are there and so forth.
My question to the Hon. Minister is that all these sources of copper that he talks about, do they first go to his Ministry to say, ‘I have got an element of copper from my house or whatever which I want to dispose of which is quite important’, because of the situation which has arisen which is of vandalism in terms of the transformers. Mr. Speaker Sir, we now need to know the source of the copper and that is very important. It is not good for us to give them a licence and not know where the source of the copper is yet there is no copper mining. So it is critical that the Hon. Minister establishes how sure he is that the copper or licences that they have given to these small dealers at the end of the day is coming from other credible sources and not from the transformers.
The other issue is how much copper does the country export in terms of quantity to see whether it is really useful for us to keep giving these licences. Is it making any business sense? How much does the country generate from a forex point of view, from the copper that is being sourced through other means other than mining and so forth?
I would like the Hon. Minister to also further explain why the multi-taskforce which comprises of ZESA now is also not able to verify the copper, whether it is coming from the transformers or from another source. Now that you have got a multi-taskforce that is responsible for this, is it not prudent to have a centre in each province that before they sell the copper they come and show the copper for us to know that the copper has not come from the transformers? I thank you.
HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to raise
two issues arising from the Ministerial Statement. Number one issue concerns the issue of the form of copper being exported – if they are exporting it in raw form. I would want to ask the Hon. Minister what they are doing to try to make sure that the copper is processed in Zimbabwe. When it is processed in Zimbabwe, it is also going to minimise the incidences of vandalism.
There is another aspect which is also not copper but it is related to what the Ministerial Statement is speaking to. We have now a lot of car scrapes from the ex-Japanese but it looks as if the Government has no policy to make sure that those car scrapes are recycled. It seems the Government is not giving licences to those people who would want to export car scrapes from Japan giving an argument that in Zimbabwe we do not manufacture cars. It requires now the Government to come up with a clear integrated waste management policy which includes managing electronic waste because some of the gadgets the Minister referred to are electronic gadgets. We would like to know what the Minister is doing to make sure that there is cooperation with other ministries towards a well integrated waste management policy that includes electronic waste. I thank you.
HON. C. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Surely considering the unemployment rate which stood at 99.9%, the increase or the degree on vandalism and surely ZESA statistics on vandalism, do you not think it is high time to review the section which is allowing that?
Thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I have three issues and the first issue is that we are not a copper producing country. My question is, is it possible to have joint operation between the Minister of Home Affairs and the Minister of Mines to curtail the issuance of copper operating licences or copper export permits to completely annihilate that part seeing we do not produce? We used to have Mhangura Copper Mine and it is now closed. Is it not possible for them to jointly curtail the issuance of copper export permits completely?
The second issue, aware that 600 thousand copper cabling and network and there has been vandalism of transformers that could have catered for 600 thousand people to put them up to 1.2 million subscribers, this elongated copper network of cabling that has been vandalised has stopped or it has impeded upon electrification, both rural and urban of our nation. This is a gloomy picture that I have tried to paint. Mr. Speaker, my clarion call and request is that the Home Affairs Minister charged with security, would it not be possible for him to employ technology, in particular to police the remaining electricity network together with his friend the Minister of Energy using drones which can carry payload that are being used by the progressive nations like the US to carry lethal payload? Could we not arm those drones with video cameras in order that we monitor the remaining cabling on our network?
The third and last issue that I seek clarity on Mr. Speaker Sir, is the issue ....
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Make that the last one but be
brief Hon. Nduna because you are seeking clarification. You are not lecturing the Minister.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for your protection. The last issue that I seek clarity on is the issue of alternative means and ways of dealing with our power transmission network instead of continually laying copper and aluminium cables which are prone to theft. Is it possible that the two ministers have alternative sources of cabling; fibre optic is one of them that I seek to know if they can include that in terms of transmitting power so that we can reduce the vandalism and the appetite for copper and aluminium? I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. KAZEMBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Hon. Members for the pertinent questions that were raised. With your indulgence Mr. Speaker Sir, what I seem to be seeing here is that maybe we do not appreciate what the Act says. What I am hearing now and most of the questions that were raised have nothing to do with the Act. With your indulgence, I can summarise the Act then I can answer the question.
First and foremost, I appreciate the concerns raised by Hon. Members that of vandalism of our infrastructure especially the theft and vandalism of transformers and cables. This particular Act, in fact attempts to deal with that exactly because it tries to regulate people who are allowed to handle or to deal in copper, not raw copper.
If I may start by defining the copper that is being referred to in this Act. Copper in this particular Act means electrolytic copper which has been drawn into the form of a code, which means those wires; any copper conductor, section or tubing – again it is a finished product; any article, product containing copper which under subsection 2 is declared to be copper for the purposes of this Act and includes any such electrolytic copper, copper conductor, section, or tubing article or product which is called a second hand or has been subjected to smelting or other treatment. Basically, we are talking of copper that has been processed.
Secondly, I also heard that some Members were referring to questions with regards to exports. I thought I made it very clear that when it is about exporting copper, it is now under the Ministry of Mines. This Act only deals with those people who are dealing in copper finished products within this country. What this Act does, for example the dealers licence. A license in such form as may be prescribed may be issued by the Minister in his discretion upon application made in writing and such a licence shall entitle the holder thereof to carry on the trade of business of a dealer upon the premises specified in the licence. It confines you to the address that you would have included when you apply for the licence.
Secondly and most importantly, every dealer – this is now specifically to respond to Hon. Mliswa’s concerns; every dealer shall provide and keep or cause to be kept, a register consisting of one or more books herein referred to as the register of all transactions relative to his business. As such, a dealer and person who is or has been a dealer shall retain such a register for a period of three years after the date of the last entry. What is supposed to be included in that register? The nature and weight of such copper that has either been acquired or sold. The date and time of the delivery to him or his agent or employee and where the purchase or acquisition was effected or delivery was made to an agent or employee of such dealer, the name of such agent or employee and in that register also you must include the name and address of the person from whom such copper was purchased or acquired. In the case of any copper sold or otherwise disposed of by the dealer concerned, the metal and weight of such copper, the date on which it was disposed, the name and address of the person to whom such copper was sold or otherwise disposed of, or such other particulars if any as may be prescribed. So, I could go on and on, and that register compels you to keep all the documents as to where you got the copper from, the amount of the copper and to who you sold the copper to.
Now, prohibition against the sale or purchase of copper. No person other than a dealer or a licenced dealer shall sale any copper to any other person including a dealer or a licenced dealer unless he produces to such other person such documentary evidence of his title to sale such copper as maybe prescribed or a certificate of clearance. If you go through that Act, you clearly see that it is trying to address your concerns to ensure that. Again, for you to get that licence you have to be vetted. You must be clean of any criminal records and the rest. So in my view Mr. Speaker Sir, this Act attempts to deal with vandalism in that not everybody is allowed to deal in copper products without a licence.
The other questions that were raised by Hon. Nduna who was saying are there no other alternative ways of transmitting electricity. Honestly, that has nothing to do with the Copper Act. That is something else which falls under the Ministry of Energy, even the policing that he referred to – policing of property of an entity like ZESA is the responsibility of ZESA. I thank you.
HON. CHIKWINYA: I rise as a follow up to the various clauses that have been quoted by the Hon. Minister. For example Hon. Minister, you begin by defining copper for the purposes of this Act and in that definition you include copper tubing. As you were winding up, you set out the conditions under which a sell of copper can be done and that is to an authorised dealer but if you look at our hardwares and I am trying just to highlight the gaps in the law. If you look at our hardwares, they are full of copper tubing for the purposes of plumbing. So I can walk into a hardware at any given time and purchase copper tubing for the purposes of plumbing then be found with stolen copper somewhere and then claim that I bought it for the purposes of tubing.
The second issue according to your definition when you say dealer and I talk Hon. Minister on the basis of experience, there are industries that use copper for the purposes of their industrial work, smelters for example. These are not necessarily copper dealers but because in a smelter you have power transmitted in a copper cable and when these copper cables have been done with, they are sold as scrap metal. It then gives a gap at law to the extent that the smelter is not a dealer but he is disposing copper as scrap metal which scrap metal can then be mixed with other copper which has been stolen under household purposes. ZIMASCO and ZIM Alloys have such copper and Zimplats has such furnaces that use copper.
As the Minister indulged us with the basic question by the Hon. Members especially from the mover of the motion that how do we policy domestic copper which has a direct bearing on the transmission of power to our households especially that which is obtained from transformers; we want the Hon. Minister to zero in his answers to that extent. Lastly Hon. Speaker, what I want to say is that I am seeing resistance from the Minister. Perhaps he is throwing the ball back to us as legislators that you must simply refine your own law. There is resistance that we should continuously issue people with certificates to trade in copper when we are not a copper producing nation. That form of resistance and to change your mindset will continuously get us exposed and ZESA for example, will not recover from the vagaries of vandalism and theft.
We should simply bar people from trading in copper and see what the consequences are. Who is going to be affected because for example in Zimbabwe, we only have CAFCA which is situated here in Harare who are importing copper for the purposes of manufacturing cables? They are the only ones and why do I need a copper cabling certificate. It simply means you are promoting me to be a dealer and that dealership now exposes me to be able to steal ZESA cables. That will be my point of observation.
HON. T. MLISWA: I think Hon. Chikwinya would not have put it any better. The question that I ask Hon. Minister is that the so-called dealers that are being given licences, how much do they contribute to the forex in the country? How many people do they employ compared to the transformers which have been stolen and vandalised. To me we need to talk about that because when you are then taking action, you are taking action based on figures that the copper which is exported is so much worthy and is helping the country on this. We also calculate the transformers which have been vandalised, how much it is. In a nutshell, what do we lose for you probably suspending for three months while you also verify on these dealers whether they are authentic or not. In those three months, you will see that the transformers which are being vandalized, the numbers will go down and that I can bet you. So it is my challenge Minister that bite the bullet, suspend and you will see the reward of this. You have nothing to lose. We have diamonds and gold. What is copper at the end of the day when we are not even enjoying the money from diamonds or gold anyway? So what is copper?
HON. NDEBELE: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I am sorry that when the Ministerial Statement was read I had just stepped out but I am grateful to other Hon. Members for holding fort. From what I have seen, a good job has been done out of the whole thing but just one or two for the Minister’s consideration. It is not just ZESA cables by the way. This also affects Telone lines and my position is, if the mandatory sentence is ten years and it has proven not to be deterrent enough, what is the
Minister’s plea to this House in terms of increasing the number of years that one gets jailed for because this is disruptive to business and the smooth social communication. When I initially requested for this statement I had requested in my wisdom that it should be a joint statement from the Minister of Home Affairs and the Minister of Mines so that we adequately take care of the export bit that Hon. Members keep raising here. Without necessarily setting the cat amongst the pigeons, I want to ask the Minister if he is ready to confirm if one or two entities that have or that hold these copper trading licences if one belongs to the sitting Vice President Hon. Kembo Mohadi and if the other belongs to the former Vice President, Joyce Mujuru? Thank you
HON. KAZEMBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. M. KHUMALO):
Hon. Mayihlome, order please!
HON. KAZEMBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Let me start by responding to Hon. Ndebele’s questions. The first one being that what is my plea with regards to sentences. My plea would be the stiffest sentence that can be applied. In other countries, people serve as long as 30 years in jail for such crimes. So, if we could follow suit, I think that would be deterrent enough. The second question was that, do I know whether some licences belong to Vice President Mohadi and former Vice President, Joyce Mujuru. My answer is I have no clue whatsoever.
In fact, I do not even know any licence holder.
The other question was an allegation that I am being defensive and I am being resistant. I refuse totally and comfortably. I am not being defensive Mr. Speaker Sir. I was simply trying to …
HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Speaker, I just want to put it on record that the first time I requested for this Ministerial Statement, I pleaded that when the Minister brings it to this House, he canvasses or he addresses companies that hold to those licences by name. I knew where I was going.
HON. KAZEMBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The request that we received did not include those details that are being referred to. In fact, I have it. The statement that I have received from Parliament requesting the Ministerial Statement did not include those details and it is there.
HON. NDEBELE: On a point of order.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. NDEBELE: You know what is causing all this Hon. Speaker. It is because this request has been sitting on their desk for more than six months and the desk has been sending these. So, in the process of back and forth, my important request has been lost as a result. I want to repeat this. Ministers must always remember that they preside over a delegated authority; authority delegated by this House. Whenever they take time to respond to questions, we lose out on a lot of important facts. I would not blame the desk because that request for a statement has been sent several times and my request to Ministers is that delegated authority must be treated with the utmost care and due regard. Thank
HON. T. MLISWA: My point of order is really about the ruling that you must make. Does it hurt the Minister to bring a list of all dealers? We hold people accountable; that is our job. At every level, we hold people accountable. As such, I implore your good Chair to submit a list of all the dealers and how much money they are generating in terms of foreign currency so that we are able to appreciate what they are doing so that when we are making a decision, it is an informed decision which is logical. This is because there are figures involved and so forth. Not only that, how many do they employ. That then tells us exactly why it is necessary to keep this licence. I do not know Mr.
Speaker Sir if you can indulge the Hon. Minister to submit a list of the dealers and all that.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Member. I
think this is a new request. Probably the Minister may also respond.
HON. KAZEMBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The question
raised that I am being resistant, no I am not being resistant. If this House realises that there are gaps within the law, it is in the powers of this House to amend those laws. We are amenable to what makes our country tick so I am not resistant at all. The issue of the list you have already dealt with Mr. Speaker Sir. I am not sure if there is another question that I have not responded to.
Hon. Mliswa asked a question why we should maintain such a law if there is so much vandalism. We have to go back and do a cost benefit analysis. At the end of the day, we must also realise that scrap copper is also usable. All the scrap copper, especially from TelOne, there are times when other entities want to dispose of their copper legally and there are people who also want that copper so that they can redo it, smelt it and make new products from that copper. We need to do a proper cost benefit analysis to say how then do we deal with such cases. Mr.
Speaker Sir, point taken and we will look at it. I thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: My point of order to the Hon. Minister is that two names were brought up by Hon. Ndebele and it is on record. If it goes on record and he does not attend to it, the notion and the thinking of the people would be that he is protecting them. So that is why I am asking the Minister …
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order please. I wanted to
address that one. I think it was a new requirement which was not in the request.
HON. T. MLISWA: It just helps everybody. It gives transparency and protects the so called heavy weights.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I think Minister, the issue was
around licences. Because the licences are given to people or organisations, can you in the near future bring a statement on these licences?
HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I raised two questions which the Minister did not answer. One I said, is the copper which the Minister referred to being smelted in Zimbabwe? The second one was, when was the act which the Minister based his Ministerial Statement on designed when we had no upsurge of the ex-Japan car scraps. So I was suggesting that is it not also possible when they are going to think about this Act and the issue of giving licences to copper dealers to also think about how to deal with car scraps from ex-Japan that are actually becoming a menace to our environment. At the same time there is no clear policy that guides disposal of car scraps which I think is really directly related to the issue the Minister was supposed to address.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): There
are other two Ministers that are going to give us Ministerial Statements, I want the Minister to respond then we go the next one.
HON. C. MOYO: I highlighted the issue of ZESA statistics of vandalism and he did not mention anything about that. I think it is very prudent when he is going to bring that list of names, he must also provides the degree of vandalism nationwide, I think it is very important then we will be able to take a decision thereof. I thank you.
HON. NDEBELE: On a point of order.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: It is unfortunate I gave you a
chance and you were not even here.
HON. NDEBELE: But now I am in the House.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Can the Minister respond
Hon Ndebele moving to speak at the Table.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Ndebele you are
disregarding the Chair now. You are challenging the Chair.
HON. NDEBELE: I want to add something so that he brings it in his statement.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Sit down.
HON. NDEBELE: Aiwa ndini ndabvunza mubvunzo wacho – [HON. MEMBERS: Gara pasi.] – aiwa handisi kugara pasi mhani iwe.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member can you sit
down I gave you two chances. Go back to your seat.
HON. NDEBELE: I have an addition and I want it to be added when he gives his Ministerial Statement.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I will give you that chance can
you respect the Chair, please go back to your seat – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections] –
HON. NDEBELE: Kana yavanyaya yezvibhakeraka.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Ndebele, I will order you
to leave the House.
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL
HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): On the question of whether we
know that copper is processed locally. Mr. Speaker, the answer is as Ministry of Home Affairs or as police; we would not know whether copper is being processed in this country, that question will be best answered by the Ministry of Mines or Industry and Commerce. The other issue with regards to car scraps, again it is a bit of a complex question because scrap metal from a car does not necessarily lead to copper. So, I am not so sure if it falls under that. Maybe the copper from the car, it becomes a bit tricky so, I do not think it falls under this Act. The degree of vandalism, I know the Hon. Member asked us to include it in our statement but I am not so sure Mr. Speaker if that also falls under this Act because I would like to think that ZESA, under the Ministry of Energy would be the best ministry because they keep those statistics because they are the ones who lose the transformers. Otherwise we promise to bring the list that has been requested on Wednesday.
NOVEMBER 2019 EXAMINATIONS FOR UZ MEDICAL
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. Speaker I am giving a
statement on the issue of 5th year medical students who did not write their examinations in the November/December 2019 examination period at the University of Zimbabwe. Hon. Speaker, the medical students at the University of Zimbabwe wrote to the university telling the university that they are not ready to write their examinations. The university then had already its timetable for writing examinations. On the 22nd of November, 2019, the students approached the High Court to try and make sure that the High Court makes a decision that these students should not write examinations. So they took the university to court and said their complaint was that the university was trying to make them write examination when they do not want to write those examinations – [HON. MEMBERS: They were not ready and they did not want are two different things.] - I know exactly and I am in touch with my ministry.
The High Court made a decision that this had to go back to university processes. As you know, the law of academic freedom tells us that the supreme decision maker is the Senate which is the supreme academic body of a university and they decide who writes and who does not write after hearing students’ cases. So the students were re-directed to follow process. When they went to Senate with this case, the university made a decision to agree with the students that you cannot force students to write examinations, you cannot do that. There is no way students can be forced to write examinations, if they say we do not want to write; there is no way you can make them write.
Why, it is very simple, if you have a student driver, and the student driver says do not put me into this car, I am not yet ready, you cannot force them to drive, it is a quality issue. So, the university agreed with the students on the conditions that they laid out to say improve this and that before we write. The university agreed with them and said okay we will look at those conditions. Now, Mr. Speaker, the question of examinations is a serious quality issue and there is no way one cannot take a serious look at whatever complains there are about examinations. This is medicine, this is life and when students sat they are not ready, then they are not ready. There is no case whereby the university would force them to do things. I gave an example of a student driver - if they say do not put me in this car I cannot drive, you do not do that. – [AN. HON. MEMBER: So what is the way forward.] - Mr. Speaker, I guess
Hon. Members wants to know. So, the case which is there is that the University of Zimbabwe is in the process of making the conditions that were asked by the students to correct the situation. Therefore, we are waiting for that process to take place.
Hon. Speaker, the University of Zimbabwe and the Government of Zimbabwe which superintends over it and this House which superintends over that University as an arm of State, takes quality stringently. This quality is assured through the Senate of the University and we give them a chance to do their work. That is exactly what we do; we do not interfere with academic processes at the University. So they are doing their work and we are also waiting to be advised about where they are on this issue.
The University of Zimbabwe, the Government of Zimbabwe and I am sure the Parliament of Zimbabwe is committed to quality education, and that we cannot compromise on any issue especially if a medical student says, ‘I am not ready’, we take that very seriously. That is why the University sided with the students to say okay, you are not ready, we are not ready. So, this is a very clear matter, an academic matter which is in academic hands and we are in the process of waiting for the academic process at the earliest possible time. I thank you.
HON. MAMOMBE: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker. I think the Hon. Minister Prof. Murwira, with all due respect, was clever enough to run away from the nitty gritties which is the background of the matter. He is not mentioning the reason why students were not ready for the examinations. It is not like the students refused to write examinations; they were in their final year, imagine 5 years being at university studying medicine, then in your final year, you just decide you do not want to write an examination – that is not possible. The Minister is missing a point. They were not ready because they were incapacitated for 12 weeks when the senior doctors who were supposed to be supervising them were demonstrating because of the conditions in the health sector and the Minister is not addressing that point.
Hon. Speaker, demonstration or protest is a fundamental right that is articulated in our Constitution, in Section 59. So the students had a right to be demonstrating but now, the students went to court and were granted the permission of not writing the exams because they were not ready, that is number one. This happened in August 2019.
What I want to address is that when this happened, the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, together with the University administration took those fourth year students and jumped them over to fifth year as a way of managing the gap that was there. After writing the examinations in November and December, those fifth year students were supposed to be deployed in hospitals. So instead of doing that the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education went on to take the students who were in the fourth year and jumped them over and now they are the ones who are in the fifth year.
Without also due diligence, the Hon. Minister is talking about the quality of education – how then do you talk about quality of education when you are taking a fourth year student who was also affected and did not even write their examinations. You took them over to the fifth year – what is quality. The Minster is not addressing the fundamental issues here.
Secondly, we are in March, 2020, this incident happened in August 2019, definitely if the Ministry had students at heart, by now they should have a decision on what is supposed to happen to these students. For me as a Member of Parliament, I also represent students as our constituents, as students they are our constituents and we are concerned about them. I am saying he is concerned about the quality but what is going to happen to these students who have spent five years in their academic field and only today to be barred from attending lectures and writing their examinations because they were protesting.
Hon. Speaker, when I raised this question last week, I was looking at the time frame, these student doctors have been learning for the past five years, they need to finish their exams, it was not up to them, it was not an option but it was the crisis in the country. The crises that we have in this country, right now, there are no doctors and these students are supposed to be deployed in the hospitals.
As I conclude, the request for a Ministerial Statement from the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education was obviously to talk on the issue of quality. Why did the Ministry make the fourth year students to jump over to fifth year without due diligence, without the quality that he is referring to.
The second issue is on the issue of time frame – for how long are these fifth year medical students who were supposed to graduate last year in November/December going to wait. How long are they going to wait for their issue to be addressed, these are the students who have spent five years at school. We want this issue to be addressed, we are not here to play, we are here for business and we will bite the Minister if he does not act.
HON. SARUWAKA: The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education in his presentation referred a lot about the quality of the product we produce at our universities and he was saying he could not force the students to write because of quality issues. So, is the quality determined by the students or the quality is determined by the examiner? If the students are not ready and the examiner wants them to write does that mean that if they write the examiner is just to make them pass or through assessing the quality the examiner will fail them if they do not meet the quality.
The Minister was referring a lot of students stating that they were not yet ready. Is the Minister at liberty to advise this House the issues with regards to students not being ready? Are they so concerned by the welfare of the children that when they say we are not ready, they just say okay come when you are ready. What are the issues? The Minister must speak to the issues why the students were saying they were not yet ready.
HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I also want to raise some areas for clarity from the Hon. Minister. I was one of the Members who were tasked by the Committee on Higher and Tertiary
Education to go and find out what was happening last year in December. What we discovered was that not only fifth year students were affected, but the whole School of Health Sciences was affected.
Students who are in their second years would be expected to conduct their lessons on bed side, meaning that they are supposed to be studying conditions of patients. So because of the strikes that were going on, on the side of senior doctors, they were not able now to do those bed side tutorials. This is why the students said because we were not able to do the 11 to 12 weeks bed side tutorial, we cannot be able to write examinations.
We also managed to consult the Dean and other authorities at the Parirenyatwa Health Sciences School. They said the other problem was they had about five or four courses they were supposed to conduct on bed side tutorials, now they do those in rotations. So you would find a situation where one student who was in fourth year had conducted only two and was left with other two rotations. They were saying if we go on with the examinations we are only going to write two rotations. If we write two rotations we are not going to get the certificates of having completed the degree. So they were saying we cannot write now and then we come back and write the following year. The question now is, when they were going to write two rotations in December, who was also going to incur the costs of finishing the other rotations?
The other issue now is, as the strike by doctors continued they were not taking new patients, meaning those who were conducting bed side tutorial were not able to get new experiences because they continued studying the old patients without being exposed to other circumstances for them to have the practical experience for us also as a nation to be happy with the quality that is being produced. It was going to be dangerous to the patients because they would have been exposed just to limited experiences. So they had those problems.
We also had other complications because we were going to have now first year up to sixth year students, meaning the universities were going to be constrained in terms of capacity. They were going to be constrained in terms of accommodation and in terms also of the available teachers.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Can you conclude please.
HON. HAMAUSWA: What we also want to know from the Hon. Minister is, why the Ministry took so long to provide a lasting solution to this crisis because at the moment, the crisis might continue and we might end up having a seventh year medical treatment which becomes very complicated. The issue is, we are in March and the Minister is still waiting for the way forward from the university.
As much as the University Senate is independent in deciding when and how the students should write the exams, the Constitution clearly says, all institutions including the lowest level are accountable to Parliament. This is the accountability that we are expecting the Minister to make sure that the universities are accountable to Parliament so that we uphold the Constitution. Also, we want to know from the Hon. Minister when are we going to know the condition and the way forward of students, not only the fifth year but also those who are in second year onwards? Has the situation improved, is Parirenyatwa Hospital taking new patients such that our students are now satisfied that when the time arrives to write the examinations they would have learnt something that is really convincing?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, can you
HON. HAMAUSWA: I am finishing – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] -
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I think you
have been heard. Let others contribute.
HON. HAMAUSWA: I am left with just one thing. I am wrapping up. Thank you Hon. Speaker – [AN HON. MEMBER: He is making another presentation.] - No, I am not presenting. I am not the Minister yet. My last issue, is when we consulted the Dean he was saying the lag time between learning and writing examinations can also affect the results. So when they are going to write examinations after March or end of March, what is going to happen to the things that they learnt last year? Are they going to repeat – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] - No, the students have raised their concerns.
We want to know what is going to happen to ensure quality.
HON. ZENGEYA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker. I have got only two questions to the Minister. My first question is, Hon. Minister, who is then going to incur the costs, the schools fees considering the prolonged period that the students are going to be at school? Why am I saying so is due to the economic constraints that we are facing as a country?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member. You are
supposed to find out; you are trying to follow up. Do not lecture, just ask your questions and that is all.
HON. ZENGEYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Let me go straight to my point. I have got two questions that I asked. I said, who is going to incur the payment of the school fees considering the prolonged period that those students are going to be at school. Secondly, considering the continuous strike that is going on by the doctors, who is going to do the monitoring or evaluation of the students while they are taking their studies? I thank you.
HON. NDEBELE: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I just want to plead with this House to provide the leadership that is…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Can you find out from the
Minister. Members are not supposed to lecture here. You are supposed to seek clarity.
HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Minister, I want to seek clarity on whether this particular Senate that you said makes supreme decisions at the university is not punishing students for following stipulated dispute resolution mechanisms because what I see is, they followed an architecture that this House has prescribed. The High Court is a court for all and then given the fact that the same Senate has proven to be vindictive, Minister, as a political accounting officer and a whole professor for that matter that we have faith in, are you not going to come up with a sunset decision to say on this particular date the students must sit for their examinations without fail?
I do not envy you for your job Hon. Minister, but I just want to clarify one thing. It is a clarification please.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: But do not debate please.
HON. NDEBELE: I want to check with you because I have not been following. Is this a fresh Senate or it is the same Senate of old rat fast tread – the PhD for the former First Lady – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I want to know. I have every right to know because that has an impact on quality. You spoke about quality. You raised the quality cap.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member can you address
HON. NDEBELE: Is this the same Senate that granted Grace
Mugabe a PhD without writing a thesis?
HON. TSUNGA: This is very serious matter and it is not a laughing matter at all. We must be seen to be serious….
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member can you seek
HON. TSUNGA: But this background is very important.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Just seek clarification. Do not debate anything.
HON. TSUNGA: It does not look like some people are taking this matter seriously. Nonetheless, this is a huge problem whose magnitude has far reaching consequences. I think it is also more traumatic on the part of the students, institute and the part of parents whose children ….
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your clarification
HON. TSUNGA: Having said that Mr. Speaker Sir. May I ask a few pertinent questions? The first one is, we need to how many students have been impacted by this problem so that we appreciate the magnitude of the problem.
As my colleagues have already indicated, the Hon. Minister has to be clear as to the reasons why the students were unable to be examined in the first instance because that was not mentioned in the Minister’s statement.
Thirdly, what is the time horizon when we can expect to have the students finally sit for their examinations? When are we going to have those conditions that in the first instance made it impossible for the students to write?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, do not repeat
what has already been said.
HON. TSUNGA: Finally Mr. Speaker Sir, we want to know whether this has happened before and how it has been tackled before or it is the first time that it is happening. If it is the first time it is happening, it is an indicator of serious maladministration on the part of those concerned.
HON. PROF. MURWIRA: I really wish to thank the hon. members for asking those questions for clarification.
The students went for a court process and they were given their justice according to the Constitution so no law was broken. Absolutely, no law was broken. A student comes and says I do not want to write then you say yes you cannot write. The issue is, we should always stick to due process and not invoke emotions for no reason. We are then having to say what happens to the parents – these are adults who made decisions – [HON. MEMBERS: Aaaah!] – Yes – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] - My duty as the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education is to make sure that higher education runs properly and that all students are treated properly and make sure that all students are given a chance to write their examinations when they are ready to do so. There is no policy which forces the student to write examinations.
You cannot do that because it has an impact on quality.
If they were calculating a certain route, I do not know of that route but it looks like it failed. Let me also be very clear that there is no Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education who do not do things in the interests of higher and tertiary education or individuals – in the interest of higher and tertiary education that produces good doctors. It basically means that we have to stick to academic rules and academic freedom.
That is why the Constitution talks about academic freedom.
There is nobody except a professor of medicine who can say this is good or this is bad. Only the professor of medicine will tell us that they are ready. This is not a political or social process but an academic process – [Hear, hear.] - Therefore, it means that….
HON. HAMAUSWA: On a point of order – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] – My point of order is that there is a danger that the Hon. Minister might mislead this House – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order please!
HON. HAMAUSWA: There is a procedure that has to be followed – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – There are a number of hours – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member may you sit down.
HON. HAMAUSWA: No, no. Hon. Speaker it is unfair.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I have ruled.
HON. HAMAUSWA: No, no. It is unfair – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] –
HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Hon. Speaker, the academic matters are left to the academic authority and therefore we respect the academic authority – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
HON. HAMAUSWA: No, no. It is unfair – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] – There is one thing that I have to explain.– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – There are number of hours each university works over – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – There are a number of hours expected by a student before they write examinations….
THE TEMPORARY CHAIR: Hon. Member please respect the
Chair. Go and sit down – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
HON. HAMAUSWA: No. Hon. Speaker! - [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] – I want to explain something that is very important – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
Why should I sit? Why? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. KHUMALO): Order,
order Hon. Mliswa may you sit down please? I want to make a ruling on this matter.
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I just want to say that the way the Hon. Members of Parliament are arguing shows that there is so much vigour in this; I wish they addressed their entire wealth to the way that they are arguing now. I do not think that we would be poor at all.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Members.
I had asked the Hon. Member to sit down because he was out of order. Then I wanted to call him back, Hon. Member may you continue with your debate and Hon. Members do not make noise.
HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I was saying
there are a number of contact hours that are expected for learners to go through before they sit for examinations. I also explained that they were supposed to do bedside tutorials which are four rotations and the students have done just two. So, there is no politicking that is going on but the students were saying that they have not completed the expected contact hours. By forcing them to sit for examinations without having completed the contact hours was tantamount to affecting the quality of education – that is my point.
My plea is that the Hon. Minister should not mislead this Hon.
HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker
and I wish to thank Hon. Hamauswa for the clarification which exactly agrees with what we said. We never force anybody to write an examination – never, it is never done. I am a full professor and in my professional career, I can tell you that I am the highest academic authority in my discipline and we never force students to write examinations.
Therefore, in good time after following up …
HON. NDEBELE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. Hon. Speaker, these are national issues. The Hon. Minister does not have to be emotional – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – You need to calm down; the amount of emotion that you are exhibiting shows us that you made that decision.
HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I am just
passionate with education. I am very passionate and I want to tell you that I am very happy to be able to answer all these questions from Hon. Members because they help us to explain a situation. So, we do not take those questions for granted, they are very important questions.
So, Hon. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Ndebele, order please! I have another Minister who has a statement please, may we proceed with speed.
HON. PROF. MURWIRA: So, basically Hon. Speaker, I really agree with the Hon. Members that this is a very important matter. It is so important that you cannot force a student to write – never, it is a matter of rights. The timetable is going to be set by Senate as the academic authority of the university. The students were never expelled – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – They were never expelled, they are our registered students and they are going to write when Senate decides that it is the right time for them to write – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
HON. MAMOMBE: On a point of order Hon. Speaker. I think the issue here is not about the Hon. Minister forcing the students or not but it is the circumstance. The Hon. Minister is hiding behind a finger. He is not explaining to this House why the students refused to write the examinations; why the students were not ready to be writing the examinations. That is number one.
Hon. Speaker, the Hon. Minister is stating that the Senate will set a day to write the examinations. Hon. Speaker, right now the students that we are referring to are at home. They still require the 12 weeks lectures – who is addressing that? Which examinations are they going to be set for when the students are still at home? They are not attending any lectures and they are not attending any practicals. So how are they going to examine them? This is the same problem that we have, can the students return to school and learn then they can set examinations for them. This is the point and the Hon. Minister is not addressing any point here. We need the students to return to school and you then set examinations Hon. Minister – address the background!
HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Hon. Speaker, whatever the
background is, the students were not ready to write. We are therefore, going to address all the conditions that were supposed to be there according to the students’ letter. These things do not take one day but at the same time we are saying, higher and tertiary education first and foremost students need to be disciplined.
Therefore, Senate – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – It is also our right to determine. Therefore, if they are not yet ready to write – they will not write. They will write when they are ready and they are not expelled at all. They are our students and we want them to be at university. I want to answer to a question that said, ‘We skipped fourth year’. No, they completed their fourth year and are proceeding to fifth year. We cannot block them because they did not boycott any class. Therefore, we cannot disadvantage them, if there was a strategy to block the stream of students – it cannot be blocked. This country is more important than individuals. We agreed with the students that they were not ready to write. So they did not write, I do not know where the problem is – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Absolute academic authority is with the University Senate and that is it. If I interfere with it, I am interfering with the academic process – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
HON. NDEBELE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: No point of order.
HON. NDEBELE: There is something I want addressed immediately, on a point of order. Minister, you cannot say the academic freedom lies with the University Senate when you instructed all universities in this country not to have a February intake. You have personally instructed that February intake is banned, so where is academic freedom now. Universities are not going to have February intake throughout the country, where is the academic freedom? Your children go to outside universities and our children are forced to take gap years here.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I will ask you
to go out. That is out of order. Hon. Minister, can you proceed?
HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Mr. Speaker, I go back to the issue of our students. We will make sure that we will make conditions right for our students to start writing but we cannot push on issues of quality. The conditions are set by Senate, period. That is it. We are going to respect academic freedom and no political interference at universities, let senate do whatever they do. I urge Hon. Members to know that universities on academic matters operate independently. This Minister stands for academic freedom. The Chancellor who is Dr. E. D.
Mnangagwa stands for that academic freedom – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members please.
HON. PROF. MURWIRA: When academic freedom beats you
back, you will agree. Academic freedom is hitting back. That is what it is doing. These are the results of the academic freedom, it hits you back. Let Professors do professors’ work.
MEASURES TO CURB THE HIGH COST OF DATA BUNDLES
AND ALLEGED DATA DISAPPEARANCE
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION
TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON.
MUSWERE): Thank you Mr. Speaker. This is a Ministerial Statement on measures to curb the high cost of data bundles and alleged data disappearance – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – To begin with, all tariffs in Zimbabwe both wholesale and retail are regulated. In regulating tariffs, POTRAZ uses the cost based principle which is the most objective criteria for determining tariffs. Accordingly, as a way of curbing – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
HON. ZENGEYA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. It seems there is no quorum in the House.
Notice having been taken that there being present fewer than 70 members, the bells were rung for Seven Minutes and a Quorum still not being present, THE TEMPORARY. SPEAKER adjourned the House
without question put at a Quarter past Six O’clock p.m. pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order Number 56.
NOTE: The following members were present when the House adjourned: Hon. Chibagu, G.; Hon. Chipato, A.; Hon. Chitura, L.; Hon. Dzepasi. G.; Hon. Dzuma, S.; Hon. Gandawa,M.A.; Hon. Gwanetsa,
K.K.; Hon. Karumazondo, M.T.; Hon. Khumalo, S.S.; Hon. Maboyi,
R.M.; Hon. Machingauta, C.; Hon. Madhuku, J.; Hon. Madiwa, C.; Hon.
Madziva, S.; Hon. Makoni, R.R.; Hon. Maronge, C.; Hon. Masango,
C.P.; Hon. Masenda, N.T.; Hon. Mavetera, T.A.; Hon. Mayihlome, L.;
Hon. Mguni, H.; Hon. Mguni, S.K.; Hon. Mhona, F.T; Hon. Mkandla,
M.; Hon. Mkaratigwa, E.; Hon. Mliswa, M.T.; Hon. Mliswa, T.P.; Hon.
Moyo Priscilla; Hon. Mpofu, A.; Hon. Muchimwe, P.T.; Hon. Munetsi, J.; Hon. Murambiwa, O.; Hon. Murire, J.; Hon. Musiyiwa, R.; Hon. Muswere, J.; Hon. Mutambisi, C.; Hon. Mutodi, E.; Hon. Mutomba, W.; Hon. Mutseyami, C.P.; Hon. Ncube, E.; Hon. Ncube Ophar; Hon.
Ndiweni, D.; Hon. Ndlovu, N.; Hon. Nduna, D.T.; Hon. Nguluvhe, A.;
Hon. Nhambo, F.; Hon. Nhari, V.; Hon. Nkani, A.; Hon. Nkomo, M.; Hon. Nyabote, R.; Hon. Dr. Nyashanu, M.; Hon. Nyere, C.; Hon.
Paradza, K.; Hon. Raidza, M.; Hon. Rungani, A.; Hon. Saizi, T.; Hon.
Samson, A.; Hon. Shirichena, E.; Hon. Singo.L.; Hon. Sithole Josiah; Hon. Svuure, D.; Hon. Tsuura, N.; Hon. Tungamirai, T.; Hon. Zengeya, V.M.; Hon. Zhou, P.